The 2018 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International (FHI) was buzzing with excitement Thursday as international competitors and young horses performed their dressage tests. By day's end Bobby Meyerhoff led the way in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship with his own Almanac (As Di Volare x Fuerst Aphrodites R).
Meyerhoff piloted the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding straight to the top of the leaderboard on a score of 26.3. Nicknamed "Maniac" in the stables for his occasional erratic behavior, Almanac impressed the judges, and his rider, with his relaxation despite the blustery weather.
"I had a specific plan with him and he warmed up really well," he said. "Yesterday he was a bit fresh and I had to ride him down a little bit and get him where I wanted him, but today was really nice. He went in and did his job. He got a little tense here and there but he was able to keep it under wraps and stay content."
Looking ahead to Saturday's cross-country test, Meyerhoff expects a challenge from designer Derek di Grazia. "It's a nice course. I think there a lot of challenges. Derek has done a great job designing it to look straightforward, nice and pleasant, but knowing his courses and terrain, that's not always how it goes. I think it's going to be a good test."
Only one tenth of a point behind, Caroline Martin is hot on their heels with her own Cristano Z. The 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding earned a score of 26.4. Third place belongs to Jenny Caras and Fernhill Trendy (ARS Vivendi x Cruising Girl), a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, on 27.1 points.
Dressage continues Friday, October 19 as Dutta FHI welcomes the CCI3* riders and the second half of the CCI2* class. The thrilling cross-country phase will be held Saturday, October 20, and the show jumping finale takes place on Sunday, October 21.
The future of three-day eventing is in the new USEA Event Management System (EMS)! This new software system will allow for competitors, coaches, organizers, and secretaries to have relevant event information in their hands. By using advanced technology, this new software system will be an all-encompassing tool used to provide a well-organized, smooth competition with limited contact and instant updates.
This past weekend, the footing of the new arenas at the Fair Hill Special Event Zone saw its very first hoofprints as competitors in the CCI3*-S at Fair Hill International also participated in the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Test Event. The new Fair Hill Special Event Zone, which has been specially designed with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in mind, consists of three brand-new arenas on the infield of the recently upgraded iconic turf track and a new cross-country course designed by Ian Stark.
How competitive have your Novice results been? What’s a good final score? What’s a good dressage score? What does it take to win? In our third installment of this series, EquiRatings showcases the Novice level. Use these graphs and statistics to help evaluate your Novice game.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).